We all have a picture in our heads of the perfect tomato. It’s always round, vibrant, and plump. If you are new to tomato growing, you may be noticing that your tomatoes aren’t shaped the way they are supposed to be. Specifically, you may wonder why my tomatoes are pointed at the bottom?
Most commonly, tomatoes come to a point towards their bottom due to being exposed to cold temperatures and generally because of a genetic mutation. Some tomatoes are supposed to come to a point on their bottom; that may be the way their species was created.
Read on to understand better the reasoning for oddly shaped tomatoes and how to correct them to their typical round shape.
Are There Tomatoes That Are Supposed To Have Pointed Bottoms?
Any tomato variety can grow with a pointy bottom because of a deformity, but a specific type of tomato is supposed to grow that way; that is the Oxheart tomato. There’s always a slight chance that your seeds or tomato plants could have been mistakenly purchased or mislabeled.
You also may have bought Oxhearts instead of the more common tomato varieties like beefsteak, roma, or better boys. This is a common mistake that often goes unnoticed. Oxheart tomatoes were a genetic mutation that was discovered over 100 years ago.
They are an indeterminate species, producing all season as long as they are appropriately cared for. Oxheart tomatoes have been known to be very similar to beefsteak tomatoes. They are usually pretty large at around 1 pound each and can grow up to 3 pounds. Their size and consistency make them ideal for eating on salads and sandwiches.
Steps That Lead To Rounder Tomatoes
- Establish a consistent watering routine. Ensure that the soil the tomato plants are growing in is moist enough and provides the nutrients the plants need. Water the plants at the base instead of directly on top of the plant.
- Ensure that your plants are getting enough exposure to the sun and/or your light source. Warm soil is essential in growing round tomatoes. If it gets colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night, your tomato plants will have a higher chance of having pointed ends or other deformities. Make sure the weather is consistently warm.
- Produce or buy fertilizer that will provide the tomato plants with various nutrients that they could benefit from. Go to your local Home and Garden store and check the fertilizer section for products specific to tomato plants.
- When working around your tomato plants, be very careful not to damage any of the roots. Try to steer clear of them as much as you can. Interference with the roots of a tomato plant can cause deformities in the fruit produced.
- Try to keep the fruit of your tomato plants from pushing up against any stakes or cages you may be growing them in. Slowly the pressure of something pushing against the tomatoes can deform them.
Are Oddly shaped Tomatoes Safe to Eat?
The simple answer is yes. As long as your tomatoes aren’t rotted or unripe, they should still taste the same, whether perfectly round or oddly shaped. Deformities typically come from genetic mutations of a particular gene or, as mentioned before, too cold of growing conditions.
These factors will only change the appearance of the tomato, and there should be no concern for the safety of eating them. Make sure to keep up on picking your tomatoes, though, because waiting too long to pick could cause some of your tomatoes to rot.
Tomatoes with pointed ends will sometimes rot easier than regular tomatoes; this is called blossom end rot. It is never safe to eat rotted tomatoes, so picking them as soon as ripe is always the smartest choice.
What is the Best time to grow Tomatoes to prevent deformities?
The best time to plant tomatoes is later in the spring or early summer. For most areas, that would be around May or June. The best way to prevent deformities is by making sure the soil is warm enough. Most say that It needs to be no cooler than 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night for the soil to be an ideal place for the tomato plants to thrive.
Other Deformities Tomatoes Can Have
- They may develop a crack or a split down the center of them.
- They can become riddled with holes that can make them more prone to rotting.
- They can ripen faster on some parts of the tomato while simultaneously underripe on others.
- They might become sunscald, meaning blisters and white spots grow on the outside of them.
Are Deformed Tomatoes Worth Less?
The simple answer is yes. As long as your tomatoes aren’t rotted or unripe, they should still taste the same, whether they are perfectly round or oddly shaped. Deformities typically come from genetic mutations of a certain gene or, as mentioned before, too cold of growing conditions.
These factors will only change the appearance of the tomato, and there should be no concern for the safety of eating them. Make sure to keep up on picking your tomatoes, though, because waiting too long to pick could cause some of your tomatoes.
Tomatoes with pointed ends will sometimes rot easier than normal tomatoes; this is called blossom end rot. It is never safe to eat rotted tomatoes, so picking them as soon as ripe is always the smartest choice.
Overall, many different factors can contribute to a deformity in a tomato, specifically a pointed bottom. Just because a tomato is shaped differently than expected doesn’t mean it’s not edible or it won’t taste great.
The two leading causes are simply a genetic mutation or too cold of a growing climate. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t grow perfectly round tomatoes. Follow the steps listed above and give your tomatoes your full attention. Indeed, you will be more successful every year.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!